About Us

The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco (AIASF), is a 501(c)6 non-profit membership business-league organization dedicated to upholding the character and advancing the integrity of the built environment in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since its inception in 1881, AIASF has been a pioneering force in designing the buildings, neighborhoods, parks, public spaces, and infrastructure that shape the cherished and vibrant urban fabric of the Bay Area. Today, in partnership with The Center for Architecture + Design (The Center), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, AIASF serves our local community through exceptional programming and advocacy initiatives that elevate public discourse about architecture and design. Lectures, symposia, walking tours, gallery exhibitions, film screenings, and our annual Architecture + the City festival address the great challenges facing San Francisco—equity in housing and public space, sanctuary and belonging, historic preservation and legacy, resource conservation, and resilience—and inspire our community to learn, to adapt, and to build the city of the future.

AIASF and The Center pursue the mission committed to enhancing the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting excellence in architecture, design, and the built environment. AIASF offers continuing education, career resources, and networking opportunities as well as public programs that provide architects and design enthusiasts with many opportunities to explore the local built environment.

History of the AIA San Francisco Chapter

Following the formation of a short-lived professional society in 1869, an association of prominent San Francisco architects founded the Pacific Coast Association of Architects in May of 1881 to protect the integrity of the profession and to standardize the conduct and practice of its members. Augustus Laver, an important founding leader of this group, submitted the petition that earned San Francisco architects their AIA charter in the spring of 1882, thereby expanding the AIA’s membership westward beyond Chicago.

In February of 1927 the San Francisco chapter was renamed the Northern California Chapter, and was incorporated on August 4, 1955. In 1980 the chapter became The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter with the most recent name variation, AIA San Francisco, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, adopted by members in 1992.